Green Days: Day 1 Tips & Giveaway
Itâ€™s Day One of Green Days â€“ 3 days of green tips and giveaways on Mom365. Today, weâ€™re giving away a fab gift pack of all-natural skin care products. Read on to find out how to enter, and check back over the next 2 days for more giveaways.
For our green guidance, we asked Honey Berk, a freelance writer whoâ€™s been specializing in sustainable living and green building for more than 10 years, to offer her favorite tips.
Day 1: Green Cleaning
Thereâ€™s no shortage of cleaning products that claim to be â€śgreenâ€ť or environmentally friendly. But why not go a step further â€“ or back â€“ to keep potentially harmful chemicals away from your little one? Itâ€™s very easy to use natural household products like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and distilled white vinegar to clean, disinfect and deodorize your home just like your great-grandmother did a century ago.
Note Be careful not to combine with any commercial cleaners or other ingredients, and be sure to test first on a small, inconspicuous area first to verify results.
From cupcake toâ€¦
â€¦bathtub stains, smelly diaper pails, dirty walls and more. Baking soda has been used as a household and personal cleanser for thousands of years â€“ in fact, the Ancient Egyptians are said to have used it as soap and toothpaste. Because baking soda neutralizes acids and breaks down proteins, itâ€™s a very effective deodorizer. Whatâ€™s more, its finely gritty texture makes it a great substitute for abrasive cleansers.
- To remove stains from most bathroom surfaces, apply a paste of baking soda and water; let sit for a few minutes then scrub or wipe clean
- Use a paste of baking soda and water with an old toothbrush to remove crayon marks from walls
- Use a paste of baking soda and water to pre-treat stains on fabric
- To eliminate garbage can or diaper pail odors, sprinkle a layer of baking soda into the can, add a small amount of water and swish it around a few times before pouring out; add a thin layer of baking soda under the garbage bag to help keep things fresh
Since hydrogen peroxideâ€™s discovery in 1818, itâ€™s been used as a bleaching agent and disinfectant for a all kinds of applications, from textile bleaching to dental care to wastewater treatment. And you can use it as a household cleaner, too. The 3% hydrogen peroxide solution you see in the drugstore is a great anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-mold and anti-mildew agent, replacing a range of toxic cleaners.
- Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide solution into a clean spray bottle (not previously filled with toxic cleaners) and use it as you would any other household cleaner: spray on countertops and leave for a few minutes to sanitize; spray onto shower walls and let sit for a while to help loosen mold and mildew, and then use regularly to prevent build-up.
- Pour one-half cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution into the washer to help brighten whites (pour into water, not directly on clothes)
- Spray 3% hydrogen peroxide solution on mirrors for a sparkling, streak-free clean
Vinegarâ€™s use as a cleaner and disinfectant traces back to the civilization of ancient Babylonia. Because it is so acidic, distilled white vinegar is great for killing most mold, bacteria and germs.
- Use a half-and-half solution of distilled white vinegar and water to clean the walls and shelves of your refrigerator; pour a cup of distilled white vinegar inside an empty dishwasher and run it through a whole cycle every month to remove soap build-up and odors.
- Add one-half cup of distilled white vinegar during the rinse cycle to break down soapy residue on clothes and leave them soft and static-free
- Wet-mop no-wax floors with a solution of one cup distilled white vinegar per one gallon of warm water
- For streak-free windows, clean with a solution of equal parts distilled white vinegar and warm water; for ease of use, pour into a clean spray bottle (not previously filled with toxic cleaners
To enter to win a basket of all-natural skin-care products from Belly Buttons and Babies (baby body wash, massage lotion, mom & baby cream, hydrating mist â€“ valued at $69), tell us your own green cleaning tip or comment on Honeyâ€™s tips in the comments box below. Weâ€™ll pick a winner on May 7.